Zahhar: Contacts with Egypt to contain the Rafah incidents

Zahhar: Contacts with Egypt to contain the Rafah incidents

 GAZA, — Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, the political bureau member of Hamas, has said that his Movement was absolutely interested in ending the crisis with Egypt following the regretful incidents in Rafah on Wednesday that led to the death of an Egyptian soldier and the injury of 35 Palestinians.

Zahhar told Safa news agency on Wednesday that Hamas was keen on maintaining good relations with Egypt and to end that problem.

He acknowledged the presence of tension but said, "We are trying our best to end the crisis".

For his part, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said that his Movement was not interested in heightening tensions with Egypt, but rather calls for peaceful solutions to pending issues and differences.

He said in a press statement on Wednesday that the shooting that took place and other violent incidents were the result of the state of anger in Gaza after Egypt’s construction of its underground steel wall along its borders with the Strip.

Meanwhile, Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday extended condolences to the Egyptian leadership over the death of the soldier in the incidents.

He advocated self-restraint and wished speedy recovery for the wounded, adding that what happened was a passing summer cloud.

Hamas MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil expressed regret for the incidents and called for an end to hostile media campaigns, which, he said, would only deepen the crisis.

Bardawil asked Cairo to re-consider the establishment of the steel wall and to open the Rafah border crossing permanently before passage of individuals and goods.

The interior ministry, for its part, said that it would open an investigation into the incidents and asked its Egyptian counterpart to conduct a similar one.